May 24, 2013: The Assembly Appropriations Committee, headed by Mike Gatto (D-Burbank), will consider more than 300 bills today, determining which pieces of proposed legislation will be passed on to the full Assembly for a vote. Among those are several affecting the lives of children:
AB 626/School Nutrition, rewrites education code to align state laws with federal laws and regulations set forth by the Healthy,Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, according to Food Policy Advocates in Oakland. The alignment affects "maintenance and appropriate use of the cafeteria fund (in which a district's school food revenues are held), as well as details about competitive foods sold outside the formal school meal program (e.g., vending machines, school stores). Among other changes, the bill specifies that "only beverages that meet specific nutritional standards may be sold to a pupil at an elementary school." Bill was sponsored by Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) and Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).
AB 913/Charter Schools, a bill that expressly states that a charter school is subject to the California Public Records Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, or, if it is operated by an entity governed by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, that law -- i.e., a charter will be required to follow the same open meeting, public disclosure and conflict of interest laws that govern traditional school district boards. Authored by Ed Chau (D-Alhambra). The California School Boards Association is a co-sponsor of this bill. It is opposed by the California Charter Schools Association: ("The changes in AB 913 cut to the heart of traditional charter school governance and contradict longstanding charter law offering autonomy and opportunities for different operating structures than districts.")
AB 939/Pupil and Personnel Health: Defibrillators, is on the "watch" list for the California School Nurses Organization (neither support nor oppose). The bill, with the intent of encouraging all public schools to obtain an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and to protect the district from lawsuits regarding its use (or nonuse), would authorize a public school to accept "nonstate funds" to acquire and maintain the equipment. Authored by Melissa Melendez (R-Murrieta).